Updated: Aug 9, 2022
Hey, can I tell you a secret? Happy mums have mysterious habits involving love hormones and hope molecules.
Have you ever wondered why some mothers always seem carefree and loving life? Well, they're not on anything, but they're onto something. Frankly, I stumbled upon their mysterious practices on my parenting journey. But, before I reveal the 5 Secret Healthy Habits of Happy Mums, here's why it's crucial I share this knowledge with you:
Life as a mum is busy! A busy life is stressful. Stress kills the joy of living.
As mums, we're busy. Busy looking after our families. Busy building a career. Soon, you're too busy to work out, eat healthily or care for your own needs. Life can quickly become stressful if you can't find enough time for sleep or the energy to reach your health or fitness goals.
Stress wears a clever disguise. It can change from the picture of calm one minute to a scene of screaming at the kids for no apparent reason, snapping at your partner, or feeling like throttling someone at work. It may appear as a glass of wine or slab of chocolate dressed up as the ray of sunshine in your busy day. The stress of a busy life can lead to unhealthy behaviours, which with repetition, can develop into bad habits that are hard to break.
The stress of a busy life can turn even the happiest mummy into a grumpy mummy. But there is a proven way to turn that frown upside down, so you can raise a happy family and feel darn good while doing it.
What are the 5 Secret Healthy Habits of Happy Mums?
1. Moving & Grooving
2. Food for Thought
3. Refreshing & Resetting
4. Mood-boosting Foods
5. Love the Drug
These habits are the 5 pillars that form the foundation for a healthy and happy lifestyle. Each habit is like the ridge on a key. Together, these 5 habits complete the key that unlocks a healthier and happier version of yourself…but first, YOU must turn the key. You need to take action to make these habits a part of your lifestyle, so you can unlock the full benefits of the happy, fulfilled life you deserve and desire.
Before you read on, download your free supplemental 5 Secret Habit Workbook here. This accompanying workbook has powerful exercises that make it easy for you to take immediate action as you read along.
Secret Habit 1 - Moving & Grooving
Did you know that your muscles release feel-good hormones called "hope-molecules"?
The first Healthy Habit of Happy Mums is regular Physical Activity which means moving your body more. Did you know how often is as important as how long you move? 'Moving more' could be a chunk of 20 minutes or in 4 x 5-minute blocks spread throughout the day. Regular physical activity improves your mental health, quality of life and well-being. So what's the big secret? When you move with greater intensity for longer than 20 mins, your muscles release 'hope molecules', hormones that help boost your mood.
4 tips for fitting more movement and joy into your busy day:
1. What type of physical activity should you do? Firstly, ensure the kind of physical activity you choose is enjoyable and easy. When you do what you enjoy, you're more likely to look forward to doing it and make it a regular part of your daily life. You don't have to do 'exercise', which is simply a name for a structured form of physical activity. You could dance to your favourite songs while doing housework, participate in a structured exercise program with a fitness trainer or spontaneously play ball games with your kids.
2. How much time should you spend moving? If you're starting out, your goal is just to spend less time sitting and more time moving, e.g. standing, walking, stretching, or pushing your wheelchair. So, while awake, get up, shake, stretch & move your body for a few minutes, every 50-60 minutes. Set a timer to remind yourself to get up and move.
3. At what intensity should you move? When you move with greater power, you feel more energised. So, once you've made 'moving more' a regular habit, focus on increasing your movements' intensity from low to moderate or moderate to higher physical intensity. For example, move from slow to brisk walking, moderate to vigorous dancing, and slower to faster-swimming pace. So next time you feel tired, remember injecting more moderate to high-intensity physical activity into your day will energise you more. But how do you measure your exercise intensity? You don't need fancy equipment like a heart rate monitor or remember the target heart rate calculation. You can use the talk test or your rate of perceived exertion (RPE).
4. How frequently and how long should you move to feel the health benefits? For most adults, World Health Organization (WHO) physical activity guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes throughout the week. You can do 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week. But, you do remember that how often you move is as important as how long you move, right? So, if you're too busy to meet these "ambitious" guidelines, have 'movement snack' breaks instead. 'Movement snacks' are physical activity blocks of 1-10 minutes spread throughout the day. So instead of a brisk 30-minute- walk, you could break it up into 5 x 6-minute brisk movement snacks every hour. These movement snacks will energise you more than a food snack such as a chocolate bar. You could also do push-ups, calf raises, or air punches in one minute. Doing something is better than doing nothing.
Secret Habit 2 - Food for thought
If you change what you focus on, you will change how you feel.
Regular Mental Activity is the second Healthy Habit of Happy Mums. Mental activity is like Physical Activity for your brain. It's training your brain to change your thinking in ways that positively impact your life and feel good. 80% of new year's resolutions often fall off the wayside by February because most people know what to do, but there's one problem. They haven't figured out how to change their old ways of thinking in order to stick to better habits in the long term. Just as different physical workouts strengthen specific body parts, you can also perform various mental exercises to achieve particular emotional and physical results. You CAN train your brain to turn on internal motivation, so you turn your ideas into action, learn from failures and get back up when you've been knocked down.
Want to feel happier? Start exercising gratitude daily. Gratitude is the gateway to fulfilment.
Daily Thanks Giving Exercise:
Strengthen your "happiness muscle" by making gratitude the warmup and cool-down activities of your day:
1. Think of all the good events and experiences that have happened in your life, E.g., the birth of a child, test result, or family meal.
2. Spend 1-3 minutes writing or saying aloud all these things you're thankful for, e.g., your life, health, eyes, family members, and friends.
This regular practice of being grateful is empowering because it is proof of the great things you've already achieved and a promise of possibilities to come.
Secret Habit 3 - Refreshing & Resetting
If you want better control of your emotions and appetite, it's best you get some sleep.
The third Healthy Habit of Happy Mums is prioritising sleep. How often do you sacrifice sleep to buy screen time, e.g. on social media or Netflix? Sleep is essential, yet it can be a touchy subject because it's not easy for everyone to get sleep. Sleep is the powerful way our brain rewards us for doing nothing. While asleep, our bodies, minds, and spirits repair and reset, so we wake up feeling re-energised. Where possible, it's vital to avoid sacrificing your sleep because lack of sleep negatively affects your mood, self-control and performance.
Is a restless mind keeping you up at night?
When we have a lot on our minds, it can be challenging to sleep. One way to clear your mind so you can sleep better is to spend 5-10 minutes briefly writing down all the things you are worried about or thinking about. The goal of this practice is to help relieve your mental load, not to solve any issues. When we sleep, the brain has a fantastic way of unlocking new insights into our problems, so we often wake up with new or better solutions. So next time you have a complex problem to solve, "sleep on it" because you may wake up with the answers and be in a better mood.
Secret Habit 4 - Mood-boosting Foods
Stop riding the highs and lows of the sugar rollercoaster. Start sustaining your energy levels with foods that boost your mood
The fourth Healthy Habit of Happy Mums is prioritising Nutrition. You know that you are what you eat and drink. The problem is that what you know isn't usually what you do when stressed. When you're feeling rushed, tired, or grumpy, it's easy to reach for fast food or sweet snacks because they're ready to go and taste good. But the inconvenient truth about most convenient foods is that energy dips and hunger pangs come after the short-lived energy spike. Sweet treats don't give you sustained energy levels, so you feel more tired and moody.
3 simple tips for eating healthier when you're on the go:
1. For a ready-made snack, carry fresh, real, whole foods, e.g. fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Whole foods are natural, nutritionally rich and/or fibre dense, so they will fill you up and satisfy you for longer.
2. Stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle or thermos with warm herbal tea by your side. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger.
3. Avoid processed foods as they have fewer nutrients, added sugars, and salt.
So, in a nutshell, to enjoy a healthier diet, simply eat fresh, whole-natural foods where possible. Eating slow-release energy foods will sustain your energy levels and improve your mood.
Secret Habit 5 - Love the Drug
Did you know that when you hug, kiss and cuddle, you release oxytocin- your body's natural love drug?
The fifth Healthy Habit of Happy Mums is Connection - Social and Soulful Connection. Social connection is spending time in the company of people you enjoy being around, e.g. family or friends. Equally important is limiting the time you spend around negative people who bring you down. Soulful or spiritual connection is having uninterrupted time alone so you can reflect on your thoughts and get in touch with who you are at a deeper level. Different forms of self-reflection include journaling, praying or meditating.
Want to have a real connection offline?
Schedule a few minutes daily to spend with your family or friends and to spend by yourself.
There. The 5 Secret Healthy Habits of Happy Mums are out. So now that you know this information, what will you do today? As the famous poet and great thinker, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said–
"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."
Imagine how you will feel when you apply these habits daily. My guess is you'll be an extremely happy mum or thrilled that you did. Psst! Your family and friends will also want to know, "What's your secret to happiness?"
Do you want these 5 empowering weapons to become your daily habits? Download your free 5 Secret Healthy Habits of Happy Mums Workbook here and put a smile on your face every day.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Dr. Masi, the Women’s High Performance & Healthy Lifestyle Physician. As a medical doctor and mum I understand the challenges of achieving study or work-life balance!
My mission is to continue empowering women like you with the knowledge and skills to create the lifestyle you desire so you can
· Build a successful career
· Raise a happy family &
· Feel good while doing it.
So, IF you're a MOTHER and
- You're STRUGGLING to hit study goals
- Your Work performance is SUFFERING
- Your STRESS is affecting your family OR
- You WANT more time for your personal health and needs,
I've got solutions for you.
BOOK a discovery call today and find out how to speed up your success with personalised guidance and support.
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